easter baking 101

{ kulich/paska }

Hi! I know, I know, I've been away for too long!!
Truth is, I have so many things to deal with right now, aside from the blog...
the recipes just keep accumulating and I already feel guilty about not posting!

This was probably the first year I've spent Easter away from my family. Back home, Easter used to be a quite important holiday, celebrated at my grandma's with Chanfana, a traditional lamb stew, multiple Folares, our traditional Easter sweet bread, and Pão de Ló, a moist cake loaded with eggs.

(OH MY. I just found a video of a Portuguese granny cooking Chanfana - and speaking quite good english for an old lady! - maybe you should go check it out now (here)! She ROCKS!)

This year I stayed in Munich for Easter and got together with my sisters from other misters (and countries) and their bfs to celebrate. The funniest thing was that the only one of us three to who this holiday meant something was actually me! Laura brought to light that Mexicans, despite being downright catholic, don't care much about Easter, and Natallia is orthodox, hence her Easter would only come one weekend later!

Nevertheless, we had decided we would be celebrating and throwing a small something. The plan was to make a picnic in the park, but the weather betrayed us and that weekend turned out to break into a wrecking metereological mess. Natallia was away for the week, and she would only come back on Sunday morning, so me and Laura were in charge of the menu.

While first discussing what we would put on the table, Natallia immediately suggested we should get a Kulich/Paska, - something that I had never heard about until that moment - a traditional eastern-europe sweet bread, usually made for Easter. "As if" she knew I would be tempted by it, she quickly fetched a link with pictures and a recipe, and I promptly replied: challenge accepted.

I thought I could also make a Folar too, as I do love our own sweet breads, but later decided for a cake instead, as the Kulich was already a sort of bread. I made my grandma's Pão de Ló, and actually called her for the recipe, - Lau made a delicious Tuna Pie you can see on our table, below, and I also made Berry Sangria. Not featuring the picture were some small treats I brought from Portugal last Christmas: Marmelada and Chila Jam.
Well, then... gather us all around one table and we had a really nice Easter afternoon :)

pão de Páscoa tradicional dos países da Europa Ocidental

(todos os ingredientes devem estar à temperatura ambiente)
1 chávena de leite
3 ovos
9g de levedura seca
1 chávena de açúcar
115g de manteiga
1/4 de colher de chá de sal
1/2 chávena de natas
4 + 1/2 chávena de farinha
3/4 de chávena de passas

(glacé e decoração)
1 chávena de açúcar em pó
1 colher de sopa de leite
confettis coloridos

Derreter a manteiga e deixar arrefecer até voltar à temperatura ambiente. Aquecer ligeiramente o leite, até estar morno.
Numa taça grande, bater com um fouet o leite, os ovos, a levedura, o açúcar, a manteiga derretida, as natas, o sal e a baunilha. Incorporar metade da farinha. Tapar com um pano limpo e deixar levedar em forno morno (menos de 50ºC) por 2 horas.
Incorporar a restante farinha aos poucos e poucos e por fim as passas. Levar ao frigorífico durante a noite ou deixar levedar outras 2 horas
Ao remover do frigorífico, deixar regressar à temperatura ambiente cerca de 40 minutos. Forrar uma forma de bolo de fundo amovível com uma camada dupla papel vegetal a toda a volta, formando uma espécie de chaminé (deve ficar mais alto do que os lados da forma, para que o pão possa crescer em altura.) Colocar a massa na forma e deixar levedar mais 2 horas em forno morno.
Levar ao forno a 180ºC cerca de 40 minutos, até o topo estar bem tostado. Deixar arrefecer um antes de desenformar.

Bater o açúcar em pó com o leite para fazer o glacé. Este deve ficar bem espesso - se necessário juntar mais açúcar, ou mais leite, para ajustar a textura. Verter sobre o pão completamente arrefecido e decorar com confettis coloridos.


traditional Eastern Europe Easter Bread

(all ingredients must be at room temperature)
1 cup milk
3 eggs
9g dried yeast
1 cup sugar
115g butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cream
4 + 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup raisins

(glaze and decor)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
coloured confettis

Melt the butter and let cool down to room temperature. Heat the milk until warm.
In a big bowl, beat milk, eggs, yeast, sugar, melted butter, cream, salt and vanilla. Incorporate half the flour. Cover with a clean cloth and let leaven for about 2 hours in a warm oven (less than 50ºC).
Incorporate the remaining flour bit by bit, then fold in the raisins. Place in the fridge overnight or at least another couple of hours.
Remove from the fridge and let stay at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Line a small cake springform with a double layer of parchment paper, shaping a sort of a chimney (it must be taller than the sides, so that the bread can grow taller.) Place the dough inside and let leaven another 2 hours in a warm oven.
Bake at 180ºC for about 40 minutes, until the tip is golden. Let cool down before unmoulding.
Wish powdered sugar with milk to make the glaze, until reaching a thick mixture - if needed, add more sugar, or more milk, to adjust the thickness. Pour over the bread and decorate with coloured confettis.

1 comment: